Muffet McGraw has kept busy since retiring last spring from coaching Notre Dame.
From teaching a sports business leadership class at the university to helping on Election Day as a poll worker, the Hall of Famer women’s basketball coach has stayed active. Now she’s ready to add a new job to her list: serving as a studio analyst for the ACC Network.
“It’s a new challenge I’m looking forward to. I thought it was a way to stay connected with something I spent my entire life doing,” McGraw said. “Women’s basketball has been a passion of mine.”
McGraw said she’ll be able to provide a different view as a former coach. She talked to Andy Landers and Seth Greenberg, who have transitioned from coach to studio analysts for ESPN, to see how they prepare.
“I know it will take a little bit of time to get comfortable,” she said. “It will be different watching a game and not watching film after. I have a lot to learn.”
The ACC Network was thrilled to land her.
“Muffet McGraw is on the Mount Rushmore of women’s college basketball coaches and we are elated to have her join ACCN,” said ACC Network coordinating producer Aaron Katzman. “Along with her Hall of Fame pedigree, Coach McGraw will bring to our studio shows informed perspective, in-depth analysis and insight that transcends beyond the court,”
McGraw joked that her biggest concern is that because of the pandemic, she’ll be doing shows from home, which is full of Fightin Irish memorabilia from her 33 years coaching at the school.
“My den is all Notre Dame,” she said, laughing. “I’m going to try not to be a homer. I think I can do that. I think I can be quite objective.”
Despite being on campus to teach her class, McGraw, who retired from coaching in April, said she hadn’t been to basketball practice yet. She talks often to her former assistant Niele Ivey, who took over the program.
“I want her to use me as a reference, mentor, whatever she needs me to be,” McGraw said. “I wanted to keep my distance, let her be her own person. She’s going to be great. I want to be there to help.”
As far as missing coaching, McGraw said she doesn’t right now.
“The first day of practice I was on the golf course. I didn’t even feel like I should be somewhere else,” she said. “I know I made a really good decision, no regrets at all.”
She has found other ways to fill her time. She has enjoyed teaching her class for grads and undergrads and is glad that with the exception of one week, the class was able to meet in person every week. Teaching has provided some of the same challenges as coaching to make sure the students understand everything.
“I made up a ‘Jeopardy’ game with 25 answers and I think they missed eight or nine. I was like, ‘Dang, I thought they’d get them all,’” she said. “Maybe I didn’t do a good job teaching. Maybe we didn’t work on that enough.”
McGraw continues to serve the community by helping raise money and get donations for a food bank and volunteering as an election worker.
“It was exciting and energizing to see so many people voting,” McGraw said. “The line was a constant stream of people all day and we moved around. I was the clerk and the person who had to sign the ballots. I was also the disinfectant lady.”